Series: Bridgertons #4
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Avon on 25 August 2009
Penelope Featherington has been in love with her best friend’s brother Colin Bridgerton since she was nearly sixteen. One day she catches him saying to his brothers that she is the last person who he would ever want to marry. Crushed, she’s prepared to live out the rest of her life a spinster. Colin travels extensively to escape a possible marriage to Penelope but when he returns, he sees her with new eyes.
As a resident wallflower, few have noticed Penelope’s intelligence, quick wit or dare I say it, charm. Her mother is desperate to marry all of her daughters off to suitable suitors but seems to have given up hope when it came to Penelope. People did however notice a marked improvement in Penelope’s wardrobe once her mother lost interest and left Penelope to her own devices.
I wasn’t as enamoured of Colin who treated Penelope fairly shabbily. Once he realised that he cared for Penelope, he ceased communicating properly and kept getting angry with her. It seemed like a complete personality change for someone who was supposed to be laid-back. He has a secret which he has tried to keep hidden but when it puts him in competition with the person who writes as Lady Whistledown he becomes whiny, jealous and fairly petty. Again, not really hero qualities.
I didn’t really buy the friends to lovers trope in this book because nothing really happened to make Colin suddenly notice Penelope and fall madly in love with her. Surely something has to prod you in that direction. I would have liked a little tension between the two to make things a bit more interesting or even a proper climax but the plot just plodded along.
A secondary plot revolves around the identity of the mysterious Lady Whistledown who writes scandalous gossip which society simply cannot get enough of. I worked out who the person was very quickly despite not having read any other books and the character in question not reflecting on their role. To be honest I got a bit irritated that it took the major players so long to catch up. This plot thread wasn’t that entertaining and even overshadowed the wedding and wedding night which was surprising for a romance.
I guess this novel wasn’t really a great fit for me as I prefer to read about balanced relationships. In this case Penelope seems to see Colin as superior to her and is so grateful that he would consider her which is surprising given his lack of success to date. I suspect that if I had read others in the series first before this one that I might have grown fond of the two individually but as it was, it was only an okay read for me.